When shopping online, how can you protect yourself from scams? Follow these basic tips.

Buying goods online is one of the convenient way of shopping. But when it comes to safety, how can you truly protect your personal details?

By following these guidelines you can stay secured while shopping online. Here are the tips to avoid being scammed.

Strong Password

Always set a strong passwords use 10 or more characters with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols and change them regularly. Do NOT share your passwords with anyone. Never share your credit card number or bank details via email or other forms to anyone.

Anti-Virus Software

Install security software such as anti-virus, anti-spyware and a firewall onto your computer and be sure to keep them updated.

Stay vigilant

Keep a healthy level of suspicion about emails from unknown people or entities – or even emails from trusted entities that don’t seem quite right, especially if they promise outlandish rewards for comparatively little money or ask you to divulge personal details via an included web link.

Avoid public Computers and WIFI connectivity

Don’t make your online purchases on public computers or public wifi. Submitting or accessing any of your personal information on a public system leaves you vulnerable to keystroke logging software that can capture your passwords, credit card and bank details. Conduct all your online shopping on private, trusted devices.

Making payments

Pay via secure websites only
You can tell a website is secure and protected if it has a locked padlock icon in the browser and the web address begins with ‘https’.

If you see a red cross or an unlocked padlock in your browser’s address bar, this means the website’s digital security certificate is invalid. You shouldn’t enter any details here until the site is secured again.

Use a secure method of payment

Instead of using your personal credit card, consider using PayPal or getting a pre-paid online payment card like an Everyday Mastercard – no personal details are attached to these cards and you can put a predetermined amount of money on them so if your personal details are compromised, your savings funds and identity remain safe.

Avoid paying via money transfers and direct debit as these are susceptible to abuse.

If it seems too good to be true…
Remember, if you’re buying goods that seem incredibly cheap compared to usual market price, or you’re purchasing from a website that looks outdated or dodgy, or from a peer to peer auction site, be very careful. These are rife with online shopping scams. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

After the purchase

Keep your receipts
Always print or save a copy of your online transactions, and keep any emails between you and the seller.

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